Los Carpinteros (Collective formed in 1991, live in Havana, Cuba)
Library, Part 2, 2001
Tape measures and paint
This work, one in a series of three installations that combine to form an entire library-like room, is composed of thirty-six carpenter's measuring tapes printed with fragments of books which have been banned, censored, or challenged throughout history and around the world. Notable among the texts are Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. An homage to the power of the written word, Library, Part 2 explores the notion that literature, like visual art, can be considered contraband and must sometimes be smuggled in creative containers. This point is especially poignant given that the artists live under Fidel Castro's repressive regime. At the same time, the repetition of simple metal forms across the wall has the abstract elegance of a Minimalist sculpture.
Los Carpinteros--Alexandre Arrechea (b. 1970), Marco Castillo (b. 1971), and Dagoberto Rodriguez (b. 1969)óhave been working together since 1991 and have been known under their collective name since 1994. The artists have received considerable attention for their work in Cuba and across the globe. The scope of their art ranges from elaborate drawings and sculpture to the early hand-tooled woodworks that inspired their name.